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    Sik Mul Sung is a Mars-themed cafe with its own vertical farm

    South Korean studio Unseenbird has designed a cafe in downtown Seoul, where vegetables are grown in a glass-fronted cultivation room before being harvested, prepared and served to customers on a conveyor belt.

    Sik Mul Sung cafe was set up by agri-tech start-up N.Thing, which also runs a vertical farm on the outskirts of Seoul, to make the company’s technology tangible and accessible to everyday consumers.
    Unseenbird wrapped Seoul’s Sik Mul Sung restaurant in stainless steelLocal practice Unseenbird was tasked with designing the cafe’s interior and wrapped large portions of its walls, counters and fixtures in sheets of stainless steel.
    This is contrasted with decorative red rocks and a floor made of matching pebbles, in a reference to N.Thing’s ambition to build a vertical farm on Mars.
    The cafe’s space-age theme is also reflected in its futuristic green perspex surfaces, which are played off against textured plaster walls.

    Food is delivered to diners via a conveyor beltSik Mul Sung’s focal point is a brightly lit, glass-fronted cultivation room where rows of vegetables grow in a vertical farming system designed by N.Thing, which can function without sunlight or soil.
    When customers place an order, the vegetables are harvested and used as ingredients for salads and ice cream.
    Vegetables are grown on-siteFood is delivered to diners via a conveyor belt that circulates the cultivation room and runs along the curved bar.
    The food itself is presented on circular plates that rotate to recall a planet in orbit.

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    “Customers can feel the values and dreams of the company together by experiencing cultivation, harvesting, processing and consumption here,” said Unseenbird.
    “Not only was the characteristic applied functionally to the space but the brand identity was well realised with the finishing materials and tones.”
    The vertical farm does not need soil or sunlight to functionSik Mul Sung has been shortlisted in the small interiors category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Other projects in the running include a serene timber and travertine reading room in Shanghai and a coffee shop in Shenyang, China, where stacked bottle-green beer crates form the furnishings.
    The photography is by Yongjoon Choi. 

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    Large fireplaces bookend Evangeline rooftop bar at Ace Hotel Toronto

    The rooftop bar and lounge at the recently opened Ace Hotel Toronto, by local studio Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, continues the earthy tones and exposed concrete from the lobby.

    Named Evangeline, the 80-seat bar overlooks Toronto from the 14th floor of the new building by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, with interiors by Atelier Ace – the hospitality group’s in-house design team.
    Custom ceramic tiles by David Umemoto flank one of two fireplaces in the Evangeline lounge”With energy swinging from sunset cooldowns to late night revelry, Evangeline celebrates creativity through a keen eye for curation — drinks, bites, sounds and sights,” said a statement from Ace Hotel.
    “Its name is an ode to the first feature film out of Canada and its atmosphere influenced by the creative spark of the silver screen.”
    The bar and lounge is located on the 14th floor of the Ace Hotel TorontoServing craft cocktails and small plates by chef Patrick Kriss, the bar comprises a cosy indoor space and an outdoor terrace, divided by a fully glazed wall.

    The plant-filled patio faces south and west, enjoying views of Downtown Toronto and capitalising on sunset vistas.
    The space features various seating areas, patterned rugs and plenty of plants”A lush display of plants moves from indoors to outdoors, where the furnishings adopt a more casual, contemporary tone,” said the Ace Hotel team.
    The indoor space features tall ceilings and is bookended by large fireplaces – one of which is flanked by sculptural ceramic tiles by Montreal-based artist David Umemoto.

    Ace Hotel Toronto by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects features a suspended lobby

    Continuing the earthy colour palette from the hotel’s lobby, various seating options in the bar feature sage green and pale terracotta cushions, and the tables are mostly wood.
    A row of thick, board-marked concrete columns along one side of the room creates smaller seating nooks in between and delineates the lounge from the bar service area.
    The interiors by Atelier Ace continue the earthy tones from the hotel’s lobbyVintage-style patterned rugs cover the tiled floor, while light fixtures were custom-designed for the space by Toronto studio MSDS.
    Evangeline opened to the public on 21 October 2022, following the hotel’s debut in July.
    The outdoor patio faces south and west to overlook Downtown TorontoThe programming team plans to host a roster of events hosted by DJs, record labels and party producers, as well as a rotating series of artwork by Canadian talent.
    This is the hotel group’s 10th property, joining locations including Sydney, Brooklyn, Kyoto and New Orleans.
    The photography is by William Jess Laird.

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    The Circus Canteen interior is a “collage of unwanted items”

    Local studio Multitude of Sins has created an eclectic restaurant interior in Bangalore out of a mishmash of reclaimed materials, including discarded bicycle bells and cassette tape boxes.

    Officially called Big Top but known as The Circus Canteen, the restaurant is shortlisted in the sustainable interior category for a 2022 Dezeen Award.
    The Circus Canteen interior is made of almost all reclaimed materialsMultitude of Sins sourced the components that make up the interior from a city-wide waste donation drive held over several weeks.
    The materials were then painstakingly curated into distinct categories, ranging from home appliances to toy cars, and used to design an eclectic interior featuring mismatched furniture and flooring.
    Visitors enter through a series of scrap metal archwaysLess than 10 per cent of the materials used to create the interior were sourced as new, according to the studio.

    “The Circus Canteen [was informed by] the concept of creating a collage of unwanted items with a curatorial spirit,” Multitude of Sins founder Smita Thomas told Dezeen.
    Multitude of Sins created booths out of mismatched objectsVisitors enter the restaurant through a bold scarlet door decorated with unwanted bicycle bells and humourous hand horns, which is accessed via a series of labyrinthine archways made from teal-hued scrap metal.
    The archways are illuminated by alternative chandeliers composed of dismantled bicycle chains and old vehicle headlights.
    Some of the restaurant tables are decorated with old CDsInside, the two-level dining area is made up of custom tables and seating that double as a set of striking installations.
    Salvaged objects used to create these booths include abandoned sofas, obsolete bathroom ventilators and colourful coffee tables created from old oil barrels sliced in half and topped with glass surfaces.

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    “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” acknowledged Thomas. “We have seen and felt this phrase come to life as we pieced together The Circus Canteen.”
    The restaurant’s flooring is a jigsaw puzzle-style mosaic of sample tiles sourced from ceramics stores, while a kitchen serving hatch is framed by a colourful collection of outdated cassette tape boxes.
    A serving hatch is framed by cassette tape boxesPrompted by the desire to create an eatery interior with a minimal carbon footprint, Multitude of Sins’ project responds to many designers’ growing concerns about the wastefulness of their industry.
    “The creation of each element – from custom lighting and flooring to art installations and furniture – was attributed to the mercy of the waste donation drive,” said Thomas.
    “It reminds us of adapting skillfully, to reinvent with agility.”
    The Circus Canteen intends to address wastefulness in the design industryThe Circus Canteen is part of Bangalore Creative Circus – a project formed by artists, scientists and other “changemakers” who host various community-focussed events in the Indian city.
    Other eateries that feature reclaimed materials include a restaurant in Spain with elements made from upcycled junk and site construction waste and a cafe in Slovenia defined by recycled components that create a mix of patterns and textures.
    The photography is by Ishita Sitwala.

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    Venice floodwaters inform two-tone interior of Warsaw bar Va Bene Cicchetti

    Sea green floors and skirting tiles are contrasted against the all-red interior of this bar in Warsaw, Poland, which local studio Noke Architects has designed to recall the high waters of Venice.

    Billed as Poland’s first cicchetti bar – an Italian bar selling drinks alongside small plates of food – Va Bene Cicchetti is located in a huge Socialist Realist housing estate from the 1950s called the Marszałkowska Housing District.
    Va Bene Cicchetti is a bar in WarsawCustomers enter the bar via an arched doorway lined with antique mirrors. Inside, they are met by a huge red travertine counter with a large drinks cooler, which is hollowed out of the stone and filled with ice and bottles of prosecco.
    Most of the interior is rendered in warm hues of red and gold in a nod to the colours of the Venetian flag.
    But the floor, and everything up to about 20 centimetres in height, is finished in sea green to suggest the high waters of the Veneto region, locally known as acqua alta.

    Its interior was informed by Venice’s floodwatersSeveral times a year, when the tide in the Adriatic Sea rises, these floodwaters will cover streets and piazzas in Venice in a layer of water.
    To recreate this “flood effect” inside the interior of Va Bene Cicchetti, Noke Architects coloured the floors and skirting tiles, as well as the base of table legs, chairs and plinths in a watery shade of turquoise.
    Tables resemble Venice’s red-and-white striped mooring poles”We wanted the place to be unambiguously associated with Venice but we also wanted for this reference to be fresh and unique,” said Piotr Maciaszek, who co-founded Noke Architects alongside Aleksandra Hyz and Karol Pasternak.
    “We took inspiration from the colours of the Venetian flag, which dominate all finishings, and incorporated the acqua alta motif in the interior as an element of surprise.”
    Turquoise skirting tiles run along the perimeter of the roomThe scheme is completed with glass lamps that resemble rippling water and bespoke furniture pieces including tables that pay homage to the red-and-white striped mooring posts found in Venice’s canals.
    Taking over an entire wall of the bar is an intricate mosaic made from reclaimed materials including glass panes from the Murano glass factory in Venice and fragments of wine bottles from Va Bene Cicchetti’s sister restaurant Va Bene.

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    The mural depicts the bar’s owners and their dog Koko enjoying wine and food at a table in Venice.
    “Veneto is where the famous Murano glass and antique mirrors are manufactured,” Maciaszek explained.
    “The region is famous for its ceramics and wine. We came up with the idea to use mini pieces of Venice as the building blocks of our artwork. Mosaic was the perfect solution for this.”
    The bar is centred on a red travertine counterThe bar’s basement level is completely saturated in the same greeny-blue hue as the floors upstairs to create the impression of being underwater.
    Bathrooms, meanwhile, are finished in black and white stripes and topped with a red ceiling in a reference to the uniforms worn by Venetian gondoliers.
    An intricate mosaic covers an entire wall of the barPolish illustrator and graphic designer Ola Niepsuj was responsible for creating the bar’s visual identity, which depicts the Lion of Saint Mark – a winged lion that represents the patron saint of Venice and is found on buildings across the city.
    At Va Bene Cicchetti, this motif can be found in the form of door handles and the neon light above the entrance.
    The bar’s basement level is covered in sea green tilesElsewhere in Poland, local practice Paradowski Studio recently channelled the glamour of Kraków’s interwar cafes and the clean functionalism of its mid-century modern cinemas for a hotel renovation.
    The Puro Stare Miasto hotel is located next to Kraków’s historic old town and spans 138 rooms alongside an extensive open-plan reception, lobby space and restaurant.
    The photography is by Piotr Maciaszek.

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    Ivy Studio renovates fire-damaged Piatti restaurant in Montreal

    Dark green marble, glossy black tiles and sculptural lighting contrast the rough stone walls of this Montreal restaurant that has been resurrected by local Ivy Studio.

    Located in Rosemère, on Montreal’s north bank, Piatti opened 15 years ago in an old stone building that was previously extended to accommodate a larger commercial space.
    A pizza oven wrapped in green marble forms a focal point at PiattiAfter a fire ripped through the Italian restaurant over a year ago, damaging the roof and the interior, the owners chose to renovate and update the space.
    “From this tragedy rose the opportunity to give the space a much-needed facelift,” said the Ivy Studio team, who took on the project.
    Entrance to the kitchen is through an arch set into a pistachio-coloured wall”While the overall aesthetic is very contemporary, the decor was inspired by traditional Italian design and includes textures, materials and colours that project clients directly to the Mediterranean,” the studio added.

    The two-storey building is entered on the lower level, where the preparation kitchen, a private event room and the washrooms are situated.
    A sienna-toned banquette is installed beneath a mirrored wallUpstairs are the dining areas, each with a distinct atmosphere. When entering past courses of glossy black tiles, customers are met by a “monumental” pizza oven wrapped in green Saint-Denis marble.
    A black stained-wood and marble structure in front acts as a dining and service area, across from a hand-plastered pistachio wall with an arch that leads to the closed kitchen.
    The bar area is located in the old stone buildingAbove a sienna-toned velvet banquette, a mirrored wall helps to make the dining space feel larger – reflecting its cream walls and sheer curtains.
    Bistro chairs with green seats and caned backs are placed around tables.
    Lighting and stools were custom designed for the barA circular wood-topped table sits on zig-zag black and white tiles below a central bespoke chandelier.
    The bar occupies the old stone aspect of the building. Here, a U-shaped counter is clad with vertical oak boards and topped with a four-inch-thick travertine slab.

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    Custom stools made from velvet, steel and wood are lined up against the bar, colour-matching the banquette upholstery in the dining room.
    Minimal, custom cream-painted lamps are spaced along the length of the counter, while a steel structure suspended above holds bottles behind fritted glass panels.
    A pendant light hangs above a table in the corner of the bar area”The entire room has recessed lighting going around the ceiling to properly highlight the original stone walls in the evening,” said Ivy Studio.
    Montreal is home to a wealth of Italian restaurants with notable interiors, several of which have opened over the last few years.
    Ivy Studio based the contemporary decor on traditional Italian designThey include pizza spot Vesta and Tiramisu at the city’s Hilton hotel – both designed by Ménard Dworkind.
    Among Ivy Studio’s other hospitality projects in the Quebec capital is Jack Rose, an eatery in a former auto body shop.
    The photography is by Alex Lesage.
    Project credits:
    Team: Gabrielle Rousseau, David Kirouac, Guillaume B Riel, Philip StaszewskiConstruction: Groupe Firco

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    Home Studios adds soft seating to Italian restaurant Bar Enza

    Brooklyn-based Home Studios has filled an Italian restaurant close to Harvard University with plush booths and banquettes to introduce colour and texture to the space.

    Bar Enza is situated in a prime spot on Harvard Square next to the Ivy League college in Cambridge, Massachusetts – just across the Charles River from Boston.
    Home Studios revamped Bar Enza to include a variety of soft seatingThe project involved the revamp of an existing restaurant on the ground floor of The Charles Hotel.
    To complement chef Mark Ladner’s menu, Home Studios pulled references from a range of regions and styles across Italy – from Rome’s trattorias to Milanese villas – and combined them to create interiors that feel elevated yet cosy.
    The restaurant’s original floors and ceiling were kept intactUpon request of the client, the original ceilings and floors were retained. Meanwhile, brick walls were plastered and painted white to match the ceiling and to help brighten the space.

    Freestanding tables and chairs were mostly swapped for soft seating, in the form of booths, banquettes and sofas covered in five different upholstery types to add variety.
    Five different fabrics were used to upholster the booths and banquettesThe building’s zig-zag glazed facade, which brings in plenty of light, creates niches that are filled with high-top tables surrounded by curved, pale pink booths.
    Forming a row through the centre of the dining area, pairs of high-backed red sofas face each other across marble tables.
    Brick walls were painted white to help brighten the interiorOther booths and banquettes feature sage green or beige fabrics, accompanied by cane-backed cafe chairs, while bar stools are topped with red leather cushions.
    “Unexpected details include plush seating, reminiscent of stately libraries and studies,” Haslegrave said. “Essentially we mixed mid-century architectural details with more traditional upholstered seating to achieve a confluence and diversity of designs.”

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    The service areas were kept largely intact, but custom millwork was added to refresh the materiality.
    Shelving was also clad in warm woods, while textured glass and brass hardware were introduced as accents.
    Cane-baked cafe chairs accompany the booths and freestanding tables”The very elevated level of service meant for very specific requirements on the service area millwork and shelving,” said Haslegrave.
    Time and budget restrictions meant that lighting was sourced. The selection of sconces, pendants and table lamps was chosen to create a “warm and sexy” feeling in the evening.
    The Italian restaurants draws references from Rome’s trattorias and Milanese villasDuring the day, sheer curtains allow natural light to wash over the interior and allows the fabric hue to pop.
    Home Studios’ previous bar and restaurant projects across the US include the Laurel Brasserie and Bar in Salt Lake City, The Harvey House in Madison, Wisconsin,and Bibo Ergo Sum in LA.
    The photography is by Brian W Ferry.

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    Play Architecture tops restaurant in India with undulating tiled roof

    A wavy, tiled roof formed by intersecting catenary vaults shelters this lakeside restaurant, designed by Bangalore-based Play Architecture for the Deva Dhare Resort in Karnataka, India.

    Perched above a narrow stream on recycled steel stilts the structure, which has been shortlisted in the hospitality building category of Dezeen awards 2022, provides both internal and external dining areas for the 10-acre resort.
    The Deva Dhare Restaurant is topped with a vaulted tiled roofNestled in the forests of Sakleshpur with expansive views of the Western Ghats mountain range, Play Architecture sought to create a form that would “weave and integrate seamlessly” into the landscape, making use of local materials and labour.
    “The dining space is located on an extremely ecologically sensitive zone, where one needs to touch the ground gently,” explained the studio.
    “The design approach is bottom-up, where the construction process and choice of materials address the local climate, ground conditions, flora and available local labour.”

    The restaurant sits over a small stream in a Sakleshpur forestTo create a column-free interior, a dramatic, unreinforced catenary vaulted roof spanning 16 metres was created, using five layers of 15-millimetre clay tiles typical to the area.
    This roof sits atop a granite and steel deck slab, supported by the structure of thin, green-painted steel columns beneath and accessed via two stone staircases at either side.

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    “The form shows how the forces flow through the structure, and the resistance of the form allows large spans to be built with small thicknesses, saving on materials and labour,” said the studio.
    “More over, the focus of this research was to stay away from sophisticated software solutions and find geometric, logical means and hands-on methods, empowering unskilled labour to apply the idea on a day-to-day basis.”
    Four glass-covered openings under the wavy roof offer views of the surroundingsFour arched openings at either side of the restaurant are filled with full-height glazing framed with black steel, providing views out in every direction.
    To the east and west, glass doors provide access out onto two terraces for overlooking the lake and stream, and to the north a short corridor leads to a standalone bathroom block.
    The curved roof is formed of intersecting catenary vaultsThe granite slabs of the platform have been left exposed throughout, creating a continuity between the interior and exterior, and some have been replaced with glass to provide views of the stream below.
    “The project is a simple, straightforward demonstration of the strength of an idea…with a sincere effort to express the material and construction tectonics truthfully,” said the practice.
    Other projects shortlisted in the hospitality building category of Dezeen awards 2022 include a copper-clad shelter for a teahouse in China by Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, and a boutique hotel in Mexico by Alberto Kalach topped by barrel vault roofs.
    The photography is by Bharath Ramamrutham.

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    Vermilion Zhou Design Group opts for rich hues in revamp of Haidilao hotpot restaurant

    Shades of blue and green feature throughout this hotpot restaurant in Shenzhen, which has been updated by Chinese studio Vermilion Zhou Design Group.

    Haidilao, which was established in 1994, is the biggest hotpot restaurant chain in China, with overseas branches in cities such as London, New York and Sydney.
    When its Shenzhen location was in need of a revamp, Vermilion Zhou Design Group was brought in to lead on the design.
    Sky-blue seating lies at the centre of the restaurantFrom the outset, the Shanghai-based studio knew it wanted to avoid the red and black colour scheme that has previously been used in Haidilao restaurants.
    The space has instead been decked out in shades of blue and green that are meant to nod to the chain’s use of natural, fresh ingredients.

    At the periphery of the floor plan are jade-green dining cabinsAt the heart of the restaurant is a bank of sky-blue dining chairs accompanied by tables with flecked, terrazzo-style countertops.
    Bands of shiny brass panelling have been suspended from the ceiling overhead, inset with LED ticker boards that project interactive messages to diners.
    A large LED screen has also been integrated into Haidilao’s facade; it displays moving silhouettes of different people, hinting at the buzzing activity of the restaurant’s interior.
    Tables have terrazzo-style countertopsAround the periphery of the main dining room is a sequence of high-backed, jade-green booths that form intimate “cabins” where small groups can enjoy their meals.
    There are also a number of cosy nooks designed to accommodate solo diners.
    Jade-coloured fixtures and furnishings also appear in the private dining roomTowards the rear of Haidilao there is a drinks counter and a private dining room that can be hired out for special occasions. Tall pivoting doors help close the space off from the rest of the floor plan.
    In keeping with the rest of the restaurant, it features jade-coloured walls and brass-edged furnishings.
    In the bathrooms, terrazzo washbasins meet scalloped wallsVermilion Zhou Design Group has created a small manicure bar within the restaurant’s entryway – not only is it meant to lure in more passersby, but it also gives prospective diners a fun way to kill time while waiting for a table.
    The bar has been rendered blush-pink, boldly deviating from the restaurant’s colour scheme, and has a scallop feature wall.
    Scalloped surfaces go on to appear in the customer bathrooms, which have been finished with oblong mirrors and terrazzo-like washbasins.
    A pink nail manicure bar has been created in Haidilao’s entrywayThere are a number of visually striking hotpot restaurants across China.
    Examples include Jin Sheng Long in Qinhuangdao, where diners sit among thick stucco partitions, and Xinhua Nufang in Chengdu, which perches on the edge of a lotus pond.
    The photography is by Vincent Wu.
    Project credits:
    Creative director: Kuang Ming (Ray) ChouConcept design: Ting Ho, Ming ShiInterior design: Garvin Hong, Xudong Wang, Yuqin Chou, Dandan Guo, Jing Wu, Zihao Yao, Yuxuan Li, Changsong LiLighting design: Vera Chu, Chia Huang LiaoFF&E design: Ping Xue, Ruiping HeVideo: Ming Shi

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